Join my 31 Day Kindness Challenge
I believe there is one thing we can never have enough of in the world, and that is kindness.
What does kindness mean to you?
When was the last time you were kind to someone, or someone was kind to you?
During the Pandemic, amongst the feelings of fear and uncertainty, I encountered some touching acts of kindness. However, now that we’ve somewhat arrived back at our “normal” lives, can we keep up with the kindness?
My mum often says, “Never judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” This is such a profound concept, as we all have aspects of our lives we choose to conceal and “just get on with it”. Or sometimes we wonder why some people behave in the way they do, not fully being aware of what else is going on in their mind, or life.
What I DO know is that small acts of kindness towards others (and ourselves) help everyone move through tough times, or simply make someone’s day.
Acts of kindness do not have to be grand gestures. Kindness can be as simple as smiling at someone, or saying hello. In fact, the smaller the act, the easier it is to be kind regularly.
This month I also encourage you to look for and observe acts of kindness occurring around you. There are plenty to be found if you look. When you find them, they will inspire you and reinforce your faith in the good of humanity, as well as the importance of being nice to each other.
Kindness and compassion go hand-in-hand. In order to identify ways to be kind, we must first observe the people around us. Observing will prompt us to consider what challenges people are facing and what they might need help with. For example, if someone looks sad, we can offer a smile. If we see someone struggling to open a door, we can open it for them. In order to perform an act of kindness, we must first observe, and then employ compassion. Sometimes it is difficult to observe what challenges people are facing internally, so it is often helpful to consider the words of Plato: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”
Anyone has the ability to be kind – you don’t need to be spiritual or have any particular qualities. This is what makes kindness so simple and easy to practice.
As the His Holiness the Dalai Lama says, “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”
The beauty of kindness is that it benefits both the giver and receiver. As a giver the feeling can become quite addictive. Which is why I believe that my 31 Day Kindness Challenge, based on the activities of the Kindness Calendar will help to spark a kindness habit. You can do the activities in any order you like, or add some of your own, as opportunities present themselves. At the end of the month, I don’t think you’ll want to stop!
I’ll leave you with this quote from Aesop, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”